Editorial: Open Access – Our Golden Route in Academic Publishing in an Increasingly Open World


  • Alison J Fields Open Polytechnic of New Zealand
  • Niki E Davis University of Canterbury
  • Maggie Hartnett Massey University




open access, open learning, distance learning, open publishing, DOAJ, green and gold routes, te reo Maori, indigenous language revitalisation


Open Access (OA) publishing, that is the immediate, online, free availability of research outputs without many of the restrictions imposed by traditional copyright agreements, is changing the landscape of scholarly publications. The Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning is well positioned in the changing world of publishing with its focus on making high quality research in the Asia-Pacific region readily available to all. The recent inclusion of the Journal in the Directory of Open Access Journals highlights this commitment to accessibility. With that in mind, the three articles in this issue of the Journal explore the experiences of learners within three separate and distinct educational contexts in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Two of the articles are situated in the schooling sector where research on students learning at a distance is urgently needed to inform the development of more equitable practice worldwide. The third paper explores student engagement at the tertiary level, continuing the theme from the 2014 DEANZ conference relating to the ‘e’ in engagement. Using the article by Jeurissen as a focus, the editorial takes the time to highlight the role open, flexible and distance learning can play in the revitalisation of the New Zealand indigenous language, te reo Māori. The philosophy and methods of Open Access publishing are also discussed.

Author Biographies

Alison J Fields, Open Polytechnic of New Zealand

Alison is a senior lecturer at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand where she teaches Information and Library Studies. She also sits on the Professional Registration Board of the Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA). Her research areas encompass e-learning, library services, and continuing professional development. She is currently enrolled in EdD studies at the University of Otago. Alison is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning

Niki E Davis, University of Canterbury

Niki is Distinguished Professor of e-Learning and Director of the e-Learning Lab in the University of Canterbury College of Education, Christchurch, New Zealand. In addition to researching e-learning in teacher education and professional development, Niki teaches and researches about change with digital technologies in education and related areas of scholarship. Niki is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning

Maggie Hartnett, Massey University

Maggie is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Education at Massey University, New Zealand, where she teaches in the areas of e-learning and digital technologies. Her research interests include motivation and engagement in digital environments, teaching and learning with digital technologies, electronic portfolios, support for digital learners, digital places, and spaces of learning. Maggie is an Associate Editor of the Journal of Open, Flexible and Distance Learning.